PAN 78: Planning and Building Standards Advice Note: Inclusive Design

Advice on improving the design of places so that they can be used by everyone, regardless of age, gender or disability.

What is inclusive design?

Broomielaw, Glasgow
Broomielaw, Glasgow

Inclusive design is not just about buildings. It applies to both the internal and external environment where people take part in everyday activities, including shops, offices, hospitals, leisure facilities, parks and the street. Public spaces have an important role to play as they link all parts of the built environment together. The overall composite design of building and spaces is therefore key to enabling many people to carry out everyday activities.

This PAN considers the inclusive design of all types of buildings and spaces in general. While it is acknowledged that it is not always possible to design a housing development where all houses are inclusive, the expectation is that housing developers should embrace inclusive design principles when planning developments.

By considering people's diversity, inclusive design seeks to provide an environment which addresses our varying needs. In this way it can break down barriers and remove exclusion. It is accepted, however, that inclusive design will not always be able to meet every need.

There are a number of key drivers which require design to be more inclusive. These include an ageing population; a growing awareness of the need to bring disabled people into the mainstream of society and growing anti-discrimination legislation.

Inclusive design should be seen as a continuous process - from the initial concept, the design brief or master plan, through to the detailed design; the planning and building standards approval processes; onto construction and the operation of the finished building. Each of these stages should be an inclusive process in themselves, involving potential users, including disabled people where possible.

Accessibility inside and outside at the Hub, Edinburgh

Accessibility inside and outside at the Hub, Edinburgh

an inclusive environment is one which can be used by everybody - regardless of age, gender or disability.



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